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Tokyo Olympics: Hat-trick girl Vandana Katariya played with tree branches in Uttarakhand | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

August 1, 2021
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When Vandana Katariya was a child, she was told her love for sports was unbecoming of a girl. So, she would sneak away, forage for tree branches and practise her moves, away from the prying eyes of disapproving elders in Uttarakhand’s Roshnabad village, report MS Nawaz & Ishita Mishra.
But Vandana found one defender when everyone else wanted her to drop her passion — her father. When Nahar Singh Kataria, who had been a wrestler, died three months ago, Vandana couldn’t make it home due to training. On Saturday, she became India’s first woman to score a hat-trick at the Olympics.

We are nine siblings. Grandmother would ask her to pay attention to household chores and learn how to cook, not waste time playing,” her elder brother Shekhar, 36, told TOI. Those in her village didn’t like the idea of a girl joining boys in sports either. “but father supported her. He was the only one to do so,” Shekhar said. In 2000, Roshnabad got its own stadium. “it changed the life of local girls, including Vandana,” said Manish Pal, a local sports enthusiast. Vandana was playing at a school tournament when coach Pradeep Chinyoti spotted her.
When news of Vandana’s feat broke on Saturday, her village burst into celebrations. Crackers went off, songs were sung and the village that once wanted her to stop playing was proud of her.
(With inputs from Mohammad Anab in Dehradun)





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